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March 14th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help rebels in Libya?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Paris today, meeting with other foreign ministers from the G8 to discuss Libya strategy. She's also meeting with Libyan rebel leaders, the first time the United States has made contact with Moammar Gadhafi's opposition since violence erupted last month.

A Libyan anti-government protester takes part in an anti-Gadhafi demonstration.
A Libyan anti-government protester takes part in an anti-Gadhafi demonstration.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Paris today, meeting with other foreign ministers from the G8 to discuss Libya strategy. She's also meeting with Libyan rebel leaders, the first time the United States has made contact with Moammar Gadhafi's opposition since violence erupted last month.

But no course of action has been decided yet. Over the weekend, the Arab League called for a no-fly zone. France had done so last week. The White House has applauded the move. It was the topic of conversation at the United Nations today. Lots of talk, no action.

Meanwhile, Libya's civil war continues even as international attention to the rebels' cause has been diverted to the natural disaster in Japan. Various reports say the opposition forces are losing their grip on Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, and al Brega.

For the first time since the revolt began, the rebels did not allow reporters to accompany them out of fear news coverage could provide intelligence to government forces.

It's a sign of growing frustration on the part of the opposition. The rest of the world watches and talks and does nothing. Now Gadhafi's forces are gaining the upper hand.

Here’s my question to you: Is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help the rebels in Libya?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Loren in Chicago, Illinois:
Yes. Everyone talks about the U.S. and its failures of judgment in its interventions, but here was an instance when the world could have stepped up to rid ourselves of a brutal dictator, and everyone blinked.

Chandler in Rockaway, New Jersey:
The Libyan loyalists obviously have enough firepower to defeat the untrained, disorganized rebels with or without a no-fly zone. The rebel leaders should publicly ask the Egyptian Army to intervene, with the goal of forging a democratic federation of Egypt, Libya and perhaps Tunisia. There is time for an Arab solution to an Arab problem.

Bob:
After all the huffing and puffing, it seems that the UN and the West will move only after TV shows 500,000 Libyans massacred and the streets soaked in blood. They could have paralyzed this thug's air force, communications and razed his military bases to rubble by now. There is no justification for continued statements. They mean nothing to those facing bombs.

Bobby:
Give the U.S. Navy 30 minutes to punch some holes in the military runways and a few shots to destroy the Gadhafi's helicopters. Then the playing field is leveled and the opposition has a chance.

Michael:
The Arab League wants a "no fly" zone in Libya and wants the UN Security Council to enforce it (that means us, the U.S.). How about this: if the Arab League wants it, let the UN Security Counsel charge the Arab League to enforce it? It's about time that Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, et al use all those F-18s and F-16s we've provided to them and Syria use all its Russian and Chinese planes to police their own neck of the woods.

Dave in Herndon, Virginia:
I don't know. It's a terrible situation but once again the world is waiting for the United States to intervene, and if we do then they'll immediately criticize us for it. Some days I feel like we should become the grouchy old guy in the neighborhood, keep to ourselves and put "keep off the grass" signs up everywhere.

Gerry:
I don't think it's too late, Jack. Do you? Let's talk about it for awhile.


Filed under: Libya • Middle East
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Peter

    It's not up to anyone to help the rebels except for the people of Libya. It's only for the citzens of a country, any country, to decide what the majority wants

    March 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Loren, Chicago

    Yes. Everyone talks about the U.S. and its failures of judgment in its interventions, but here was an instance when the world couldhave stepped up to rid ourselves of a brutal dictator and everyone blinked.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Bob

    Jack,
    Liba should learn the art of fighting a larger and more powerful enemy from the Talliban who have been fighting the best military in the world now for over 10 years and are not yet defeated. There is no, and never was a no fly zone in Afganistan.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    It was becoming too late from the start: it is their fight, their war. It's theirs to win or not. We have no business in it, as the events of the past decades have shown.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is never to late to help those wanting to be free from a dictatorship. Libyans want a voice in how and who will govern them. The U.N., N.A.T.O., European Union, and the United States should work together to put pressure Libya to give up shooting their on citizens. No fly zone, and arming the rebels are 2 strong measures on Libya.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  6. Paul Austin, Texas

    It's not to late but it will be much harder and will take a huge military action now by NATO or countries that do want to help with such action like the U.S. Kadhafi is now like Hitler and his followers were in World War 2 can we still not really do anything until it is to late to help the rebels. He will round up everyone he can that stood up against him and kill them in mass and tell the world nothing happenned all the people welcomed his troops with no fighting. He thinks the whole world is stupid and he is the only one that is good for all. He is so dangerous we would be fools to do nothing.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  7. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It is not to late it is just too wrong. Why should we help alqueda backed rebels who are trying to overthrow libya. What would the u.s. do if anarchists burned government buildings and tried to overthrow the president. Would we give them air support or supply them with weapons. Would it be ok for china or russia to have a no fly zone over the u.s. I think not. It is just plain dumb, dumb, dumb.Time to stop the war mongering and take care of main street u.s.a.

    March 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  8. richard weinstein

    it is NEVER too late to help rebels overthrow a dictator....

    our biggest concerns are:
    - can we get to them and establish a solid network before so many are wiped out?
    - can we afford to NOT help the rebels overthrow kaddafi, especially now that things have escalated.....?

    richard
    new york city

    March 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  9. Steve

    It's too late. Obama had his chance and so did Europe. I can see that it is hard for Obama to make any big or small decisions. A dictator that killed Americans in the PAN AM crash goes free due to a "do nothing" President and a "do nothing Democrats". I wonder if the liberals still love their "do nothing" President?
    We'll have to wait for a Republican President in 2012 to resolve all the worlds issues. Let's hope that it's not too late.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    It was always too late to help them.

    Whenever the citizens of any country, decide that rebellion is necessary, it is up to those people to succeed. No one else can do it for them, they HAVE to do it for themselves.

    Those not prepared to make the needed sacrifices, should not begin the process. No revolution has ever been won, without a heavy price, in human lives.

    On the other hand, if you are living under oppression, what value does your life really have, anyway? Be willing to make that sacrifice.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    I hope so. That way we might not get involved. I've grown so tired of hearing people wax poetic about how we need to help these people. Help them for what? Democracy? Freedom? We aren't even a democracy-no matter what your favorite news station tells you.

    As I've said from the start: This is Europes problem, not ours. They are the ones that have to deal with a disruption of oil and potential mass immagration, not us. Leave it to them.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Bradley, Portland, OR

    1. It isn't our problem

    2. Do you know whether the rebels are any better than the regime? Are they secular Western-oriented people, or Islamic radicals?

    March 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  13. Ed from California

    It's never too late. All the help should come from the European Union, and not America. As your buddy John Boehner keeps saying, "Were broke"! Because all of "Americas" disposable and non-disposible income's is going to the upper four hundred families, with Dave and Chuck at the head of the "bread" line. So we can't "help" another country trying to get rid of it's leader.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  14. David from Herndon, VA

    I don't know - it's a terrible situation but once again the world is waiting for the United States to intervene, and if we do then they'll immediately criticize us for it.

    Some days I feel like we should become the grouchy old guy in the neighborhood - keep to ourselves and put "keep off the grass" signs up everywhere.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Paul P.

    I fear it may be, a bilateral agreement was imperative to move forward and the world has responded very slowly. We didn't act while the iron was hot, sort to speak, and even the Arab League's recent recommendation for a no-fly zone has perhaps come too late, to the point now that any implementation may only, at best, result in a long, drawn out civil war.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  16. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack as much as we and others would like to run in and help the rebels it is not our fight. Freedom is never free and until there are enough people that truly want the old Libya out of power and gone it will never happen. Libya saw what happened in Egypt and thought that they could do the same with Kaddafi. They are finding out that there are still a lot of people supporting him. More then opposing him apparently.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  17. james Wardlaw Michigan

    who and what are they. I thought were through "nation building" Bring our troops home from the world, use the money to pay the debt and hire a vet.

    Jim in Michigan

    March 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  18. david

    No, JUst drop a bomb on qaddafi's hideout.. simple!!

    March 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  19. Kevin in CA

    No, it's not too late for the French to come charging to the rescue ... right?

    March 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  20. Joan G

    Appears to be too late. USA need to get out of the "policing the world business"...Americans are sick and tired of that.
    Joan
    Wi

    March 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  21. Bob Kobs

    After all the huffing snd puffing, it seems that the UN and the West will move only after TV shows 500,000 Libyans massacred and all street soaked in blood. They could have paralyzed this thug's airforce, communications and razed his miliatry bases to rubble by now.

    There is no justification for continued statements. They mean nothing to those facing bombs.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  22. Gary H. Boyd

    I'm afraid it is Jack. The rebels brought a knife to a gun fight and have no chance. The rest of the world can now only sit and watch. Sad, but true.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  23. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Turn out the lights, the party is over.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  24. Pete from Georgia

    This region of the world with their oversupply of lunatics will forever spew venom toward the civilized world.
    I say stay away from them as you would a rattlesnake.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  25. Louis Patyk

    Does it matter. If a group of people moved to overthrow, let me see, Alaska and were beeing beat back and Russia moved in to help them, say with a no fly zone. I don't know. Just saying.

    Could happen,the country,along with most all States are in bad shape. Small revolts are takeing place, alabet, peaceful ones but are happening in Ohio, Wis. Alaska Mich just to name a few. Might not take much.
    The rish are getting richer, the poor poorer, and discontent is rising by the day. Just saying, could happen, hope not, did once, might again.
    We need to be very careful . Louis In La Salle

    March 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  26. Harold in Anchorage,AK

    Not if the United Nations comes up with a strong resolution, even if they have to ignore vetoes from certain Security Council memberstodo it.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  27. Dennis north Carolina

    It is not to late but America, NATO, the U.N. and the world should hang its head in shame for the lost lives especially be cause we tell people all over the world to seek freedom and be like us. SHAME ON US!!!!!!!

    March 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  28. Jenna

    Is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help the rebels in Libya?

    It's only too late for the dead rebels and their families.

    Why anyone wants a Fruit Loop leading Libya is beyond me. His son is just as unstable. Apple not falling too far from the tree..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  29. Annie, Atlanta

    No, but I would hate for us to be the first ones to declare war. We're no longer in a position to be able to afford it alone. Hey, maybe the bankers on Wall Street or the corporations that are hoarding their cash instead of hiring could do it instead.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  30. BILL, WI

    Its too late for them if the EU and the UN fail to act. And that is act as in action not more talk.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  31. John ..................................Marlton NJ

    Yes, but the premise that it's in the best interest of the world to assist the rebels in Libya is false. Rebels are just that, rebels. Nothing more than 'flash mobs' .

    March 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  32. Marc Grottoli

    Hi Jack,

    It was already too late a few days ago!!

    Marc Grottoli
    Sudbury, Ontario.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  33. riley oday

    YES. They were never organized or experienced enough to win.

    I would say Mommar played his hand just right.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  34. Riley, Seattle

    Maybe so, but mercifully it's never too late for sympathetic nations to apologize for inaction. Rwanda, Darfur and even New Orleans have paved the way for many a thoughtful if-only-we-could-do-it-over speech and accompanying heart-felt regret.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  35. David in Tampa

    Way too late Jack. Nobody wanted the job and the U.S. can't do it all. Ergo, his nuttiness out guns the rebels and will eventually kill anyone associated with the insurrection.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  36. Dave, Huntington, NY

    Let’s sit this one out for a change – we have our own problems. Let the rest of the world handle it – like France. Since the Arab nations and France want a no-fly zone and the UN thinks it’s a good idea, what are they waiting for, Uncle Sap to step in it again? I seem to remember my dad saying something about three on a match. This would be our third fire fight.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  37. Greg of Mechanicsburg PA

    It is never too late to help a noble cause. Ghaddafi changed his stance on international terrorism directly as a result of our invasion of Iraq, not out of the kindness of his heart. This change had no effect on his ruthless rule of his people. While we are right in waiting for an international coalition to enforce a no-fly zone, those in the Arab world who would see the U.S. taking a stand in support the rebels as unwanted meddling already have that view. It is time for us to take the right side, the side of the people of Libya, and damn the naysayers.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  38. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    It's close. Without a "no-fly zone" there is no way for the rebels to have a chance. For all intents and purposes, the world has allowed mass murder of Libyain citizens. Again democracy at work......

    March 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  39. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    No it is NOT too late. Gadhafi is one man! But the rest of the world needs to do everything to take him out.

    If he is allowed to stop the people who want a democracy, and to hrm them for their efforts, it will be a disgrace to all who allows this to happen!

    I think the best thing to do would be for the countries of the world to get together, hire some really good mecenaries of some nature, and let them just kill Gadhafi!

    But one way or anothe he has to go.

    If he 'wins', we will see a blood bath.

    I pray for the Libyan people.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  40. David Rand

    FAR too late..this is what happens when the USA becomes a reliant on the UN and Nato. The US needs to react on our own at times when time is essential. We failed to do so. I blame Obama for this. Mr. Obama, sometimes you need to stop the politics and be a leader. Unfortunately, this time, you have failed.

    We should have have Brit/French and American planes in the air, keeping all of Ghadaffi's military held up in Tripoli to keep the pressure on them. Take out their planes and all fo their tanks, and then let the fighting begin.

    Sad to see America live up to our ideals.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  41. Scott from IL

    It's way too late. The airstrikes and machine gunning of the rebels is well underway. Thanks for your strong words President Obama...

    March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  42. Steve in Minneapolis

    Sure, we'll help. But then we get to determine who is in the next government and how it will operate. You want our help, you get our demands. You want to freely choose how to govern yourself with no strings attached, then fight your own war.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  43. Ishwar

    Yes it is too late I don't know what Mr Obama is waiting for and why he can not make a decision to save innocent civil lives and go ahed with to imply a No fly zone and arm the rebels I hope he will take a decision soon enough to save people from the Dictator.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  44. Lisa Bates in Provo, Utah

    It isn't too late, but it is getting later every second. Every time a freedom fighter is killed!

    Those rebels are amazingly tenacious, and I believe they will hold out to the last man. But what kind of victory will it be, when only a handful of them are left alive?

    Is life in Japan more valuable than life in Libya? I don't think so.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  45. Bill

    It is already way to late, and even if there were time left one wonders if we should even consider it. How valuable will that freedom be if it was not won at any cost. Look at the example of this country, we have been in existence for this long because of the price paid by patriots to maintain the freedom purchased with hearts blood by or founding fathers...... You don't value what you don't earn!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  46. Adnan Shilleh

    No its not too late because the Libyan rebels still have some ground in a few cities, but if countries from around the world don't help soon like they did in Japan, it will be too late

    March 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  47. Christopher Rivas

    It's never too late to do the right thing.
    Sacramento CA.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  48. Dan from Canada

    It depends on what kind of 'help' you're talking about. If it's like how the World 'helped' Iraq, the oil fields aren't on fire yet. We still have time.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  49. Madison

    United States should simply stay away from Libya. Let the Libyan people figure it out what they want. It's a full blown civil war now.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  50. Matt

    Jack,

    It was too late to help the Libyan rebels last week. Foreign governments (such as the US) were far too slow to react to a highly dynamic situation, in which our window of opportunity to be 'the heroes of the day' came and went. If we went in now, it would be another Iraq or Afghanistan. Our window was far too short. We had about 2-3 days where we could have gone in, taken out their air defense capabilities, and gotten out. We didn't do it then, and I don't believe we are capable of doing it now. We simply showed up a bit too late to the party. It's not anyone's fault, a military our size takes some time to mobilize, especially when we weren't anywhere near Libya. Let them sort it out like what happened in Egypt, I'm sure we'll be lauded by the middle east for not meddling anyhow.

    -Matt, San Diego,CA

    March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  51. Patrizia

    Of course it is up to them, and they want it, but they are so week against the monster. What it should be done, right away, is the no fly zone and give them the necessary arms to combat, just because we don't want to put our feet there, and we should not, doesn't mean we cannot help this genocide!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  52. cal

    I do not about the world but the usa should stay out of any battle in that area of the world.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  53. Bryan from Kansas City

    Supporting peaceful demonstrators is one thing. Assisting an armed rebellion is another. In Egypt the demonstrators shouted peace, peace, peace. In Lybia, they shouted give us guns, guns, guns. It is likely that most peaceful demonstrators have left Lybia by now. If we enter Lybia it will not be a humanitarian mission. It will be to inject ourself into a civil war.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  54. Louis van Tonder

    By having taken no action, it simply means that the USA hase decided that the flow of oil is more important than getting rid of Gaddafi.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  55. Ken in NC

    I think it is late but not to late. A better question is why can't other countries of the world do it without the USA being involved? I'm fed up with seeing the US as the tip of the spear.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  56. Joe, Dallas

    It's not too late. If the US and its allies could manage the Berlin Airlift, we can surely drop pallets of medical supplies, food, and water from any number of cargo aircraft. If the Libyan air force has an issue with that, they can be dealt with; the rebels would assuredly have little umbrage if the number of Libyan aircraft were reduced.

    As far as "this isn't our issue". Verily, this is argued in every instance, and rightfully so. However, this is one of those rare instances where realpolitik and American ideals converge. If one of our options is to live in a world with a Qaddafi who feels vindicated by use of force, almost any other is acceptable.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  57. Adam

    Jack, we fought the Afghanistan war to cure ourselves of the Vietnam syndrome. Now we suffer from the Afghanistan Syndrome! It should be our moral responsibility to help democracy everywhere. But given our recent foreign policy and wars, we are in no position to do so.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  58. Jay Kay

    Too late. Too costly.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  59. Average Ms. American

    The world now knows for certain that America will do nothing while dictators commit unconscionable crimes against innocent civilians. The opposition was peaceful until Gadhafi began torturing and murdering everyone that dared speak out. He will surely crush all of Libya before this is over if we don't intervene NOW. I'm ashamed to be American.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  60. Mark

    It's not to late, but the measures needed to defeat him and his regime are more than what the international community are willing provide. To put it into Obama terms, we have a bully beating up a much weaker kid because he has big ears while the only person who can help him is just watching because he doesn't want to risk getting in trouble with the law. Sometimes doing the right thing will still get you in trouble.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  61. Sheila

    If we let the Libyan people down and don't take action now, we know what will happen. Gadhafi has made it quite clear that he will take vengeance on the protestors. We are are the United States, the most powerful country in the world, and we can handle more than one crisis at a time!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  62. mark

    Jack,
    over 200 years ago a group of rebels acted out against thier ruler and with the help of some other countries, those rebels won and that country became america. to say no, we cant help you is just wrong. we should help the libian rebels who just want what the rest of us have. obama needs to crap or get off the pot before its too late

    March 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  63. Renee Peoria,Ill

    These poor people have been living under the rule of a raving lunatic for over four decades; it's never too late. But the longer we wait, the more people die. They've asked for a no-fly zone, give it to them. Beyond humanitarian aid we don't have to get more involved although I wouldn't shed any tears if someone just happened to drop a bomb on Gadhafi. A nice little oops! that could save a lot of other lives.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  64. solis Lujan

    It is never too late. In fact the time is NOW.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  65. Burbank from CA

    It's not too late to help but we should only give what is asked for, not turn this into another Iraq.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  66. BIll in VA

    It is beginning to look that way.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  67. JD

    Jack,

    Too hard to say. We need a series of congressional hearings over the next 18 months to make a determination. Then wait another 12 months to get a report which draws no conclusion. By that time the question will have answered itself.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  68. Christian

    My point of view is simple. I think we should help defend a country's population that can't defend itself against a tyrant that is using military weapons against its own population... We should NOT go into Libya for the wrong reasons; to overthrow Gadhafi. It is not our place to decide who should rule a country or not; even if they don't have the same political views or aspirations than us. If creating a no-fly zone, providing humanitarian help and maybe providing money, weapons, military intelligence and tactics to the opposition forces help overthrow the existing government, than so be it. But it MUST be done BY the people of Libya, FOR the people of Libya. My point of view is simple, but the solution to this mess is not.
    Christian

    March 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  69. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    So sad, so late, yes Jack the time has long since passed when the world should have been helping, now the remaining people will pay one hell of a high price.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  70. hunter in northcarolina

    i really do not think we have the buisness in helping libya... but no, we can still help

    March 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  71. Jason in San Francisco

    It's not too late, but our window is closing. We need to arm and train the rebels now before momentum completely tips against them. We have a moral obligation to support popular democracy and fight tyranny. Let's remember that the U.S. would never have won independence from Britain if the French didn't support the colonial uprising.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  72. Richard

    Not as long as there is a resistance it is never to late.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  73. Harlan Hiltner from Hawaii

    It soon will be. How many lives will be saved if we prevent planes from flying and ships the freedom to bombard areas held by rebels? If Ghadafi wins how many will lose their lives because they have been identified from videos and pictures as having been part of the opposition? How many tyrannical rulers from around the world will be inspired by Libya's response to opposition in suppressing their own? I fail to understand why we at the very least cannot help balance the scales by providing arms to the rebels instead of worrying about what their political and social agenda might be. Not that I am suggesting it but if we did want to take him down we could do it because it is a country of 6 million people with over half of them being against their own leader.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  74. ND

    Hey Jack. really hope it is too late, Those rebels, i have a feeling are a.lot worse the Gaddafi.They are probably crazy Islamist who hate west and they are not going to embrace democracy. I'd say we should support Gaddafi if anything,the lesser of two devils

    March 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  75. matt

    A better question is whether it's too late to help the Libyan people bare the humanitarian burden of Gadhaffi and his potential victory. It's all well and good to talk about the poetic valor of a revolution, but another thing entirely to look at the millions of people in Libya who will have to attempt to live in whatever country remains when the dust settles. Our responsibility as an international actor is to them, and not some aspirations of a revolutionary force, nor to the political convenience of a blind eye to a violent ruler.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  76. Calvin, Juneau, AK

    If our govt really believed in democracy then we'd help others who are trying to establish democracies in their country. Of course nobody so far has claimed the Libyan rebels are pro-democracy, only that they're anti-Ghadafi. Maybe that's why we haven't yet helped them-or maybe it's because our own govt. no longer believes in democracy & freedom.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  77. Lee

    No! It is never too late but time is of the essence and the no-fly zone should be enforced immediately. The spirit of the Libyan people cannot be defeated and they will keep fighting with or without us. We have to help them to do the right thing now!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  78. Mary Taylor

    It's getting there, we've waited too long but we have to try. If Gaddafi regains power without us trying to stop him, that would be shameful. We've supported the rebels in words, it's time for us to take action. It's only right

    March 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Sam in Florida

    Never to late to help the fight for freedom against ego-maniacal, self-serving dictators! Other Arab countries who support a no-fly zone should be in there helping the opposition and stop waiting for the West, especially the U.S., come step in, which, btw, is not a popular thing to do in the Middle-East.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  80. Clare Cutler

    NO, it is not too late, but it will be soon if the rest of the world keeps dragging it's feet. Lets do whatever we can to help these poor people who just want a chance at demovracy!!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  81. Tracy Lally

    It is too late and it disgusts me that the world has done nothing to support the fight for democracy in this country. By not acting, even in the smallest show of support – ie. the no fly zone, we are sending the message to the rest of the Arab world that they are on their own. I fear for Libyans now more than ever. They will be slaughtered in the coming weeks and we will all have sat back and watched!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  82. Shawn IL

    It is not too late but the window is rapidly closing. It seems that all that is being done is talk talk and more talk. The rebels have already been recognized by France as the legitimate government yet the US has done nothing to help. If the French, Dutch and the Spanish had not helped in the 1770's and 1780's would the US be here? It is time to pay it forward.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  83. Ron

    It's never too late to help people win their freedom.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  84. Adam Ali

    The world should act now this is one time were silence is not gold

    March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  85. Dominic Mazzoccoli

    I cannot believe that the Obama administration has turned its back on the rebels seeking freedom in Libya. After encouraging them and making it clear Gadhafi must go he has gone silent allowing thousands to suffer death and injury. When you have to capability to help and refuse to do so you become complicite in the wrongdoing. Is getting involved easy? Is doing the right thing every easy? The U.S. must stop hesitating now that the Arab League and France have acted. It is time to help those that seek liberty.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  86. Jim Ledbetter

    Never too late., but no ground troops. Let Europe run the show, we will just help with the no fly zone.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  87. Jim

    the time has come to send in the troops. What we need is more young men coming hoime in body bags but once we finally conquer the entire world much like the Romans did all this will come to an end.

    The United States that is.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  88. Frank Walker

    Jack,
    America is in a no win situation. Our past actions and misdeeds have left a foul taste in everyones mouth. We are viewed with a suspicious eye, for good reason. Americans find it difficult to trust our government, it's no wonder the rest of the world does too. If any action is attempted, I pray (figuratively) it is an international force. America lacks credibility, resolve and capacity to appropriately intervene in these situations.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  89. Patti

    It is never too late, Jack, but timing is not the issue here. The issue is whether anyone wants to and can afford to become a "nation builder." Colin Powell said it best about Iraq, "If you break it, you own it." We have Iraq and Afghanistan on our plate. We cannot take responsibility for Libya. If a revolution is to take place in Libya, it must be Libyan blood shed for their own freedom, not American or U.N. enforced freedom.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  90. Yezdyar Kaoosji

    The question is a no-brainer, Jack! All the world's are sitting on their hands for a reason. If they use force to support the revolution in Libya, they will be expected to do the same in Bahrain and eventually in Saudi Arabia!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  91. Greg

    Sadly, the opportunity has quickly passed. The world continues to talk, and people continue to die. And a madman, and soon his sons will again be in control of Libya. And the world continues to talk, and people continue to die.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  92. Bol Manyang

    it is not too late all. nad the only thing coming up if the world don't take action as soon possible is that Qhadafi is crushing the rebel and he will remain in power. And will be more dangerious than he ever been.
    Bol Seattle WA

    March 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  93. Karen Sherry Brackett

    No, it is not too late. Actually, now that the Chinese have finally gotten their people out the timing is now right. It is unfortunate that there will be collateral damage to innocent citizens in Tripoli. However, it is vital to United States war on terror to not only assist the Libyians but to also take advantage of this opporutnity to resolve issues with some serious biological munitions in Libya... by taking them out.

    It is only fair that the Libyians agree to pay for our aid in oil... as should Iraq, etc.... as well.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  94. Rob in Michigan

    It is not too late, and we should help the Libyan people regain their freedom. I know people there, and I can tell you these are good people who just want to live in a democracy, free from fear. The Gaddafi regime's killing people is nothing new, it's just on a bigger scale now. It is in U.S. and international interests, as well as the Libyan people's, to put an end to his terrorist rule. Let's not forget, we had help from France in our American Revolution, and that didn't make it any less OUR revolution.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  95. Carole

    Yes, it is too late at any time for the U.S. to become involved. We are broke and are NOT the world's policemen.

    The US gets 2 percent of its oil from Libya. Europe gets about 98 percent of its oil from Libya. So whose place is it to interfere if indeed it is anyone's place to interfere?

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  96. Bill

    I'm afraid it is too late, but the dithering of the foreign powers is not the only reason. Libya is made up of tribes, each loyal to or against another. How are we supposed to know Who we are supporting? I think a no fly zone is still a good idea, but the effort to establish it, will be harder as Kadafi (sp?) has spread his forces throughout Libya and they're not all locked up in Tripoli as before.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  97. Fahd

    Yes. It is almost too late to save Lybia. Thanks to our preacher president. He is used to talking, talking and talking. Remember the Israeli settlements, Gowatanamo and now Lybia. "If you want to get rid of Gaddafi, you should be ready by action to send him to HELL".

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  98. William Miller

    No it is not to late, but the only way to have any effect at this point is to target Gaddafi. He has nothing to lose by sacrificing his army and the opposition and everything to gain. What difference will a no fly zone make at this point, none. He cares for no one but himself. If we put him under the same pressure he is applying to the citizens of his country he will realize the gravity of the situation. If not the world will still be a better place. Bomb him and his family and don't stop until he does.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  99. Victor Narwortey

    It will be soon. Since we have decided to look on while a tyrant who even has American blood on his hands kill his own people and refer to them as rats. what will it cost us to impose the no fly zone as compare to death and distruction that the eastern libyans definetely face if Gaddafi win? the security council is just full of a bunch of cowards !

    March 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  100. Hebba

    It is never too late the people of libya are asfing for a NO FLY ZONE so that they can fight for their freedom

    Stop calling them rebels they are freedom fighters

    March 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  101. George

    It took far too long for the other countries to decide to impose an "no fly" zone.

    Fortunately, the US did not impose one itself.

    Independent of what they say, it is unlikely that there would be any significant participation of other countries in enforcing this "no fly". They are more than happy to have the US risk it's people and money to enforce it. When problems happen, they will also be more than happy to criticize our imperialism.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  102. Tom Cavellier

    It was too late from the start. We don't like Gadhaffi, but he's not worth another American life. Too bad about the lives of all his people who are being killed, but don't worry. Once it's over we will all forget about it and them quickly.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  103. Debbie in IL

    I wish we would help them! I hope the United States never has to asked UN for help the way Libya and has, after 17 days and the UN still can not make a decision on helping these human beings.

    Pitiful, Pitiful

    March 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  104. Gayle

    It's not too late. But it's too late for me to recoup my trust in the Obama administration. I'm totally disgusted with the lack of leadership on the part of Obama and Clinton. And I voted for Obama, because I wanted change. But I didn't want someone who would ride the fence, just because Libya is not America's biggest supplier of oil.
    The right thing to do is to help the people of Libya, of course. Isn't that what this country is all about?

    March 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  105. Michael in Little Egg Harbor, NJ

    No, it is not too late!! It is a positive disgrace that the Europeans (with the exception of France and the U.K.) cannot mount a force to stop Ghadaffi!

    We examine 'muslim radicalism' in Congress, but some congressional representatives due to their own 'ignorance choose to view radicalism in a 'vacuum' with no 'context'. If these Libyan freedom fighters are slaughtered (as they certainly will be by Ghadaffi), do you think that other Arabs who happen to be muslim are going to have a 'warm and fuzzy' feeling towards the westeren democracies?

    We as western democracies need to 'get a grip' on reality and while we are at it, send better educated people to people to congress.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  106. Virginia

    I think we still have a chance to help Libyan people, fighting for their freedom and human rights.
    We still have a little window of time left to save our face and our conscience, but I think that is just a few days.
    Otherwise we will remember Libya like Hungary 1956, Like Czechoslovakia 1968, like Rwanda 1994.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  107. John Stanley

    It is not too late. It is Air Force bombing that allowed Gaddafi to gain the advantage while Obama the great speaker continues to speak. Obama can take NO credit for Mubarak getting deposed. It was the Egyptian people. Otherwise Obama would still be planning to give yet another speech of US weighing their options on Egypt. For God's sake ACT NOW!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  108. SolonSam

    Yes!! Time is of the essence. End the paralysis of analysis. This is not the time to engage in endless "what if's". Not invading Iraq when we should have and then invading when we shouldn't have to establish democracy should have taught us something. It seems that to drag our feet now on the decision to invade Lybia and support actual democrats fighting for freedom misses utterly the lessons of both Gulf Wars and disgraces the lives lost of all those who fought them, especially our military men and women.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  109. Abdel Hadi Mettawa

    NO Never too late to help,
    this is not a lost cause, the world should act now. And the world starts with US, USA... what we say will set the course of Libya in the next 50 years.
    No no need a failed state, and no one need a dictator..

    so way are we not acting ? can't be Exxon/BP/Total call ?
    can we just be numm to humanity when it comes to the Arab world ?
    what is wrong with all of us to think that way ?

    Benghazi is my home town , and one day I will visit Free Libya, God willing.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  110. Chuck in Ohio

    The US should stay out of LIBYA. Let the international community take action and pay for it. If we go in it will cost lives and money. No one will want to raise taxes to pay for it, OH NO, but maybe we could cut the taxes for the rich some more and then eliminate more programs for the poor to pay for it.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  111. STAN JACKSON

    Yes it's to late except for direct intervention. Unfortunely, the President who I supported has taken .a cynical calculated approach to this great moment in time to turn the tables on this Middle East corundrum we have found ourselves in for the past 50 years or so. He again has bowed to the wishes of the Saudi Arabians. The Saudies entered Barhain today

    March 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  112. Vinson Palathingal

    Yes, it is too late, and that is what our administration wanted, though not admitting openly. If all the dictators fell due to civil unrest, that will be a terrible thing to handle right away. Libya is more prone to Talibanisation than Egypt or Tunisia, and so Ghadafi is the best bet for US. If Libya falls, Saudi will be next, a terrible thing for US. So, Ghadafi should prevail in the best interest of the US. The Obama administration gave him time, and it looks like he finally got the message. Let's not get excited about it too much. Do the best for our country's interest, like the Obama administration is doing. Lots of news is a good news for CNN and other news folks, not necessarily for the USA and its people!!

    March 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  113. Linda Keel

    It's never too late to support democracy (did we forget how and why this country was founded?). Our country is standing by once again while a "holocaust" is looming: if we continue to ring our hands over just a fly-over, we had better dissolve our military and spend the money on something else. Bring back an administration that is not afraid to act on the very principles in which we fought for more than 200 years ago.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  114. Rita

    Better late than never if we are to be on the right side of history in promoting freedom for all.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  115. Nicki

    I am afraid it is too late. I fear Libya must have, perhaps along with their friendly nations, threatened to terrorize any nation that helps the freedom fighters. We, the world of on lookers, let these people down. We know what is happening. We see innocents being slaughtered, and we do nothing. We are letting the supreme bully win. And when he does, completely, he will further slaughter his people. And the world will silently watch that as well. Shame on us, it is a stain on our collective souls.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  116. Natalia (New Jersey)

    I agree with what Loren (Chicago) It has been very frustrating for me to watch the way the US & the International Communities have been stalling......I do NOT think that it's too late to help the Libyans get rid of a crazy sociopathic dictator who rules them in a 'police state'..When you live like that it affects you as a human being...These people never experienced basic human rights of dignity & freedom or choices. By the time the international community shows up, my fear is that most of the Libyans will be killed...& I wonderful how our leaders will get to sleep...It's tragic.....

    March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  117. Scott

    Is it too late? Nope. The Lybian army is by now over extended on the push to the east. Any strikes at their support lines will cripple the army and even the odds for the rebels. Should the US do it? absolutely not. Its time the EU step up and show some leadership. They missed it many times over the last 30 years. The Arab League could easily fill this role also. Let the US provide any logistics and get out of the way for the EU or the Arab League to take action, but do not go into theater.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  118. Manuel from Canada

    I think its getting late, simply look at the amount of innocent people who have lost their lives over the past few days, but :
    1. The Lybian opposition should not be called "rebels", they are simply the voice of a country who has had enough. No leader can rule for 40 years without being a dictator.
    2. The no fly zone is something that the US alone can not decide on or do alone.
    3. I think NATO should finally justify their role and act now by imposing the no fly zone, we all know it wont be easy and there will be negative consequences but it will be better than sitting with your arms crossed drinking coffee in Brussels.

    just my opinion,,,,

    March 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  119. fyfy, Mesquite, Tx.

    NO, it's not too late to help, think what will happen to the people when he get back control of all of lybya? The world wait to decide on this no fly zone while people are getting killed everyday and by the time it's enforced it will be too late, the bad guys won't need to fly to anywhere, their goal most have been met. Then what will happen to the crazy guy? NOTHING. Give me a break.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  120. Fayetta

    No...It's never too late. I wish Americans could help the rebels, but we are already at war. Americans are not want in the Middle East.

    Where is Israel? Shouldn't they take a strong interest?

    This is the world's problem. Unfortunately only the people inside Libya can make the lasting change.

    Israel's soldier could take care of this little problem just like that..

    March 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  121. Jay

    There is/was a small window of opportunity to help the opposition in Libya and while the civilians of Libya fight for a better future and many are dying in the process the rest of the world leaders sit in comfort arguing and debating in a committee over what to do about it all. It's no wonder we have phrases like, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

    March 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  122. Marie Prud'Homme

    It is never too late to get rid of a rutless dictator! How could Kadhafi rule again after destroying the country; only a handfull will listen to his command. The revolution will continue,should it happen.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  123. honest John in Vermont

    We better move fast before Ghadafi annhilates the people.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  124. B.A. in Atlanta

    No, it is never too late to help an underdog fighting for dear life. Libya is not Iraq or Afganistan. Gaddafi will fall in days if the leader of the free world stop talking and start doing the right thing.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |